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Interventions to Improve Reproductive Health among Adolescents

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41HD094406-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41HD094406
Amount: $224,957.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NICHD
Solicitation Number: PA16-303
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-05-02
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-12-31
Small Business Information
Scotts Valley, CA 95066-3245
United States
DUNS: 079336099
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (831) 440-2162
Business Contact
Phone: (831) 440-2211
Research Institution
1776 MAIN ST
SANTA MONICA, CA 90401-3208
United States

 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

Althoughyear olds are onlyof the U Ssexually active populationthey account for nearlyof themillion new cases of sexually transmitted infectionsSTIeach yearAlthough historically lowthe U Steen pregnancy rate continues to be one of the highest in the developed worldEvidence based prevention efforts can help avoid the costs and health consequences associated with STIs and unwanted teen pregnancy among youthMaking Proud ChoicesMPCis an evidence based STI and pregnancy risk reduction program with multiple trials demonstrating its effectiveness among teensTo promote faithful implementationETRthe non profit organization that distributes MPCencourages facilitators to complete their in person training programIn person training can yield high implementation fidelitybut is often inaccessible due to high costhigh turnoverand inconvenienceTo address these limitationsprograms have begun to develop online trainingsHoweverdelivery methods of traditional online traininge gvideomusicanimationeven those that involve trainee practicelimit traineesability to develop facilitator skills in sensitive subjects like sexual health and condom uselack true give and take interactionsBuilding upon existing partnershipsdfusion in collaboration with ETRthe RAND CorporationAllen Interactionsand DrLoretta Jemmottdeveloper of MPCpropose to develop and test an online virtual training program to provide effective and accessible facilitator training for MPCBased on promising research from RAND s Project ALERT substance abuse prevention program that uses guided conversations to build skills and self confidence in traineesthe proposed virtual training prototype will provide MPC facilitator trainees the opportunity to make decisionsbuild facilitator skillspractice core concepts and enhance self efficacy with a virtual audience programmed to display a range of behaviors and emotionssimulating a true to life experience with immediate feedbackSeventy two adults who have experience working with adolescents but not with MPCSTIor pregnancy prevention education will receive MPC trainingParticipants will be randomly assigned to eithervirtual training in the MPC module on condom use nordfusion ETR s traditional in person training in the same modulenUsing mixed methodssurveyfocus groupsobservationsthe project will evaluate the virtual training s impact on STI pregnancy prevention knowledgeteaching efficacyand teaching skills and its usabilityfeasibilityand acceptabilityThis study also paves the way to develop and disseminate effective virtual trainings for a wide range of schooland community based programs Sexually active teens are at high risk for contracting sexually transmitted infectionsSTIsand unintended pregnancyAlthoughyear olds are onlypercent of the U Ssexually active populationthey account for nearlyof themillion new cases of STIs each yearThis is not surprising considering onlyof sexually activeyear olds report using condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse andreport having
had sex with four or more partners in their lifetimeEffective programs for reducing teen sexual health risk existMaking Proud ChoicesMPCis a leading evidence based HIV STI teen pregnancy risk reduction program with
multiple trials demonstrating its effectiveness among youthbut challenges exist to ensure MPC is implemented well and that facilitator training is easily accessible to youth serving organizationsTraining is expensive and todate few sites using the curriculum are choosing to access the expensive trainings available which impacts fidelity and effectivenessOnlineavatar based training simulationsfor very little costcan help schools and community organizations conduct evidence based programs with fidelity by overcoming limitations of in person trainingThis will improve implementation of the programimprove fidelityand ideally improve outcomesThis in turnas MPC is one of the most widely used programswill contribute to an overall improvement in teen sexual health risk reductionIf successful the findings could inform other nascent efforts to develop avatar facilitator trainings that could make a range of evidence based programs more accessible to community based
organizationsfurther improving sexual health education and outcomes for adolescents

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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